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Tom Conway's Geni Profile

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Thomas Charles Sanders

Birthdate: (62)
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Death: April 22, 1967 (62)
Culver City, CA, United States
Place of Burial: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Peter Ernest Sanders and Margarethe Jenny Bertha Sanders
Husband of Lillian Eggers
Ex-husband of Queenie Leonard
Brother of George Henry Sanders and Margaret Sanders

Occupation: Actor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Tom Conway

British film and radio actor Tom Conway is remembered today for playing "The Falcon" in ten of that series' entries taking over from his brother, Academy Award-winning actor George Sanders in The Falcon's Brother, in which they both star.

Born as Thomas Charles Sanders on September 15, 1904 to Henry and Margaret Sanders in Saint Petersburg, Imperial Russia, the family moved back to England at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution (1917). Conway had a younger sister, Margaret Sanders, and an older brother, actor George Sanders. Like his brother he attended Brighton College, a boys' independent school in Brighton, Sussex, then went on to Manchester Technical College. After graduation he worked at an advertising agency where the company secretary, aspiring actress Greer Garson, suggested he take up a career in acting. He lost a coin toss with George to decide which of the two of them would change his last name to avoid any confusion with each other. Conway strongly resembled his brother, especially in his speaking voice.

In 1942, Conway took over the role of “The Falcon” from his brother and went on to star in ten installments of that series. Conway also played Sherlock Holmes following Basil Rathbone's departure from the 1946–1947 radio series. Despite an uncanny similarity to the sound of Rathbone's voice, he was not accepted as Holmes by the listening audience and was replaced in the same year by John Stanley. Conway also starred in three of film producer Val Lewton's horror films while a contract actor for RKO Pictures, twice playing Dr. Louis Judd in two otherwise unrelated films—Cat People (1942) and The Seventh Victim a year later—-even though the character was killed in the first film. The third Val Lewton film in which he starred was I Walked with a Zombie (1943).

His screen career diminished in the 1950s, but he appeared in a number of English films, on radio, and on television. In 1951, Conway replaced Vincent Price as the star of the radio mystery series The Saint, taking on a role that his brother, Sanders, had played on film a decade earlier. In October, 1957, Conway performed as Max Collodi in Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Glass Eye" to critical praise. In an unusual twist, the ventriloquist was a midget, and Conway was actually the dummy.

Despite making over $1 million in his twenty-four year film career, Conway later struggled to make ends meet. Failing eyesight and prolonged bouts with alcohol took their toll on Conway in his last years. His second wife, Queenie Leonard divorced him in 1963, due to his drinking problem, and George Sanders also broke off all contact with him because of it.

Conway underwent cataract surgery during the winter of 1964-65. In September 1965 Tom briefly returned to the headlines when he was discovered living in a $2-a-day room in a Venice, California flophouse. Gifts, contributions and offers of aid poured in - for a time. Conway, still standing tall and trim, his hair now white, peered owl-like through thick-lensed glasses at the newspaper cameras.

His last years were marked with further visits to the hospital. It was there that former sister-in-law Zsa Zsa Gabor visited him one day and gave him $200. "Tip the nurses a little bit so they'll be good to you," she told him. The following day, the hospital called her to say that Conway had left with the $200, gone to his girlfriend's and died in her bed. It was April 22, 1967, and Conway died from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 62.

For his contribution to television, Tom Conway was awarded at star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1617 Vine Street.


   One Hundred and One Dalmatians (25-Jan-1961) [VOICE]
   12 to the Moon (1960)
   The Atomic Submarine (29-Nov-1959)
   Death of a Scoundrel (31-Oct-1956)
   The She-Creature (Aug-1956)
   Prince Valiant (5-Apr-1954)
   Norman Conquest (11-Sep-1953)
   Tarzan and the She-Devil (18-Jun-1953)
   Peter Pan (5-Feb-1953) Narrator [VOICE]
   Confidence Girl (20-Jun-1952)
   Bride of the Gorilla (1951)
   One Touch of Venus (Aug-1948)
   The Checkered Coat (16-Jul-1948)
   Repeat Performance (22-May-1947)
   Fun on a Week-End (15-May-1947)
   The Falcon's Adventure (13-Dec-1946)
   The Falcon's Alibi (12-Apr-1946)
   Whistle Stop (25-Jan-1946)
   The Falcon in San Francisco (20-Jul-1945)
   Two O'Clock Courage (13-Apr-1945)
   The Falcon in Hollywood (8-Dec-1944)
   The Falcon in Mexico (4-Aug-1944)
   A Night of Adventure (2-Jun-1944)
   The Falcon Out West (3-Mar-1944)
   The Falcon and the Co-eds (10-Nov-1943)
   The Seventh Victim (21-Aug-1943)
   The Falcon in Danger (17-Jul-1943)
   The Falcon Strikes Back (1-Apr-1943)
   I Walked with a Zombie (17-Mar-1943)
   Cat People (16-Nov-1942)
   The Falcon's Brother (2-Oct-1942)
   Grand Central Murder (23-May-1942)
   Mr. and Mrs. North (23-Jan-1942)
   Rio Rita (1942)
   Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1-Dec-1941)
   Lady Be Good (1-Sep-1941)
   The People vs. Dr. Kildare (2-May-1941)
   The Bad Man (28-Mar-1941)
   Free and Easy (28-Feb-1941)
   Sky Murder (27-Sep-1940)

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Tom Conway's Timeline

September 15, 1904
Saint Petersburg, Russia
April 22, 1967
Age 62
Culver City, CA, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States